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Coltrane 101

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OK, let's begin by being brutally honest here; if you really want to build a Coltrane collection, the albums listed below don't even scratch the surface. To do that, you will need to consider investing heavily in some box sets--five spring immediately to mind: The Heavyweight Champion (Atlantic; 7 CDs), The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings (Impulse! 4 CDs), The Classic Quartet--Complete Impulse! Studio Recordings (Impulse! 8 CDs), Live Trane (Pablo; 7 CDs) and The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955--1961 (Sony; ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

John Coltrane: Blue Train – Blue Note 1577

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John Coltrane was arguably the greatest jazz musician of the 1950s and '60s. Blue Note Records was arguably the greatest jazz label of the same period. And yet they had almost nothing to do with each other. Except for one album--and it's a classic. Blue Train is one of a handful of Coltrane's best-known and best-loved works. It came in 1957, just as Coltrane was making his name with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, and it ...

BOOK EXCERPTS

John Coltrane: Exploring the Mystery of A Love Supreme, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 This year marks the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane's album, A Love Supreme. Here is a critical engagement of various parts of A Love Supreme by UC-Berkeley professor and author Dr. Scott Saul. The excerpt is taken from his award winning book Freedom Is, Freedom Ain't: Jazz and the Making of the Sixties. Saul provides a penetrating analysis of the deep spirituality embedded in Coltrane's iconic album, supported by a sharp musical ...

BOOK EXCERPTS

John Coltrane: A Deeper Look Into His Iconic Album A Love Supreme

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Part 1 | Part 2 This year marks the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane's album, A Love Supreme. Here is a critical engagement of Coltrane's 4th movement entitled “Psalm" by UC-Berkeley professor and author Scott Saul. The excerpt is taken from his award winning book entitled Freedom Is, Freedom Ain't: Jazz and the Making of the Sixties. “Psalm" extends the recitative texture of the opening moments of “Liberia" over its entirety. For seven minutes, Coltrane ...

JAZZ PRIMER

John Coltrane and the Meaning of Life

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Few jazz musicians inspire more respect or demand more attention than John Coltrane. Elvin Jones, Coltrane's drummer in “The Classic Quartet" (1961-65), said that most people who listen seriously to John Coltrane's music eventually acquire all of his recordings. I find that those who hear Coltrane for who he was want to hear all that he was. I am one of these completists, ever scanning music stores and the Internet to find new releases. The man behind the music fascinates ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Coltrane: Offering: Live At Temple University

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Offering: Live at Temple University finally and officially releases the John Coltrane concert (in)famous for him singing with his voice in addition to singing through his saxophone during several pieces. Released on the saxophonist's 88th birthday (September 23, 2014), it presents a genuinely legendary 1966 performance in a small hall about ten blocks from Coltrane's own home in his adopted jny: Philadelphia hometown, plus a snapshot of one of his most musically combustible ensembles: His wife Alice Coltrane on piano, ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

The Virtues of Jazz

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Any jazz aficionado knows the musical virtues of jazz, whether they are a musician, a jazz writer, or simply a committed jazz listener. In classical Western thought (that is, in the musings of cats like as Aristotle and Plato), a virtue is a kind of excellence in performance that flows from a settled habit. One who plays the flute as it ought to be played--the proper tone, pitch, and timing--displays a virtue or sharp skill in that musical instrument. One ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Offering: Live At Temple University

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Discovering unheard John Coltrane material is the Holy Grail for serious music devotees, and the imminent release (Sept.23,2014) of a 1966 live date in the form of Offering: Live at Temple University on the Impulse! label (in conjunction with Resonance Records and Universal Music) to join The Olatunji Concert and One Down, One Up Live at the Half Note in the Coltrane archive is good news, indeed, for those wishing to explore the iconic saxophonist's later years. Adding significantly to ...



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